President James McCarthy

James McCarthy

James McCarthy is the ninth president of Suffolk University. He began his tenure at the University in February 2012 and soon set to work to create a vision for the institution’s future by convening a strategic planning group. Through the resulting strategic plan, he has confirmed and formalized the University’s place as a student-centered institution with an earnest commitment to its outstanding teacher-scholars.

President McCarthy sees the University as a place where mentoring relationships and a strong community help students develop their full potential. He is committed to taking advantage of the University’s Boston location to build partnerships that will enhance experiential learning. The president strongly supports the faculty in its focus on excellent teaching and rigorous scholarship, and he is working to build a cohesive campus community with strong professional governance. He has been involved in studying new models of education and sees technology being used to complement and enhance the traditional Suffolk education.

Before joining Suffolk University, President McCarthy served for five years as provost and senior vice president at Baruch College of the City University of New York.

He previously was dean of the School of Health and Human Services and professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire. President McCarthy served as director of the Heilbrunn Center for Population and Family Health at Columbia University and as the Heilbrunn Professor of Public Health in Columbia’s School of Public Health. He was a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and director of the Hopkins Population Center, and he has engaged in research at Princeton University, the International Statistical Institute London, and Trinity College Dublin.

President McCarthy, a sociologist, has worked and conducted research in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the United States and has published widely on community, adolescent and reproductive health issues. 

He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University, an M.A. from Indiana University, and an A.B. from the College of the Holy Cross. 

The president has been engaged in a variety of organizations outside of academia. He is on the board and has served as chair of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a policy research organization in New York and Washington D.C. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, the Irish Voice named him to the “Irish Education 100” honor roll, which recognizes the 100 top Irish-Americans in U.S. higher education.